31 Days of Horror: Murders in the Rue Morgue

Very loosely based on Edgar Allen Poe's short story - which is credited as being the first detective story. This 1932 film is more horror than a detective murder mystery.

Bela Lugosi stars as a mad scientist named Dr. Mirakle who is trying to prove the theory of evolution by mating a beautiful young virgin girl with his circus ape Erik. He does this by kidnapping various women and injecting the ape's blood into them - to see if they are compatible. The women all die but all is not lost. Amateur detective Leon Ames and his girlfriend Sidney Fox happen to visit the carnival where Lugosi and his monkey work. Lugosi believes that his ape is in love with Sidney Fox and sends his man servant to follow her so he can find out where she lives - and hopefully get his monkey laid. Meanwhile Ames is investigating the death of a prostitute who was found in the river. After some CSI like blood work - Ames is getting closer to solving the murders and catching Lugosi.

Those who have read Poe's original story will notice that the movie deviates quite a bit as most Hollywood adaptations do. It was just a simple murder mystery with one heck of a twist ending. But despite this the movie is great example of what Pre-Code horror movies were like. Hinted bestiality, prostitutes and grisly murders make for a pretty entertaining film. Bela Lugosi is excellent as the mad scientist. And with cinematography from Karl Freund (The Mummy, Mad Love) - the film has a cool German expressionistic look to it.

The story has retold several times - including a remake called Phantom of the Rue Morgue in 1954, a 1971 version that really deviates from the source material and a more accurately made for TV version in 1986 with George C. Scott.

Wednesday Afternoon Critter: Stoner Edition

I so miss the glory days of the National Film Board. The venerable federal institution has over 13,000 films on their site just waiting for you to light up a doobie and hit download. This isn't one of them.

But this one is. Go figure.

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Rosie LaRose’s Day-Late Bonus Top Six At … Whatever The Hell Time It Is, Whitworth Doesn’t Have Teething Toddlers Screaming For Advil At Three A.M.

Note: you can read today's official Top Six here. This bonus post makes up for my scheduled Tuesday post, which I, Stephen LaRose, shamefully missed.

1 THE BOSS SAYS GOODBYE Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band closed their latest tour with performances at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands, New Jersey.
He wrote a song for the park (brucespringsteen.net), which is facing the wrecking ball sometime next spring (Wikipedia.) Jimmy Hoffa was unavailable for comment, as you’d expect.

2 PUT IT ANOTHER WAY … Giants Stadium is being torn down, making way for a new stadium. Giants Stadium is the eighth oldest in the NFL: in the CFL, it would be the second-oldest, after the Skydome. But with the new Cowboys Stadium,
there are NFL owners who want their cities to build them new pleasure domes, even though they haven’t paid for the old ones yet. (Field of Schemes). Think about that during Regina’s upcoming domed stadium debate.

Whitworth uses the same principle to call prairie dog writers to editorial meetings. (HuffPo)

4 PLAYING QUARTERBACK JUST LIKE A RINIG’ THE BELL … Check out Stephen Brunt’s latest column on Kerry Joseph.
The former Rider Most Outstanding Player, who led the Riders to their Grey Cup victory in 2007, took a hard tackle to the head during Saturday night’s Argos-Riders game at MSAT. (Globe and Mail) What was first called a concussion was later ruled a ‘stinger’ or a neck-nerve injury, after the Argos’ backup quarterback Cody Pickett was also injured. The surprising thing was that the Argos didn’t dress their third-string quarterback – he was on the sidelines in civilian clothes. Not dressing the third string is something the Argos and no other CFL team does – and the Argos save only about $2K a game to do this. Are the Toronto Argonauts that brokie, or is head coach Bart (Count Floyd) Andrus that stupid?

5 UPDATE THAT … I guess they are that broke.
The Argos are up for sale. (Globe and Mail)

6 WHITWORTH ALREADY POSTED THIS BUT HERE'S ANOTHER LINK Did Canadian military police in Afghanistan hand over prisoners to the Afghan army and police, knowing full well that those prisoners would be tortured? That would be illegal under international law.
Here’s a look at how far Stephen Harper and defense minister Peter Van Loan have gone to make sure we Canadians don’t find out. (Impolitical).

Six In The Morning

1 ANOTHER REASON CITY POLITICIANS SHOULDN'T APPROVE CONDO CONVERSIONS WHEN THE VACANCY RATE IS LOW Battered women are apparently having a hard time finding places to live. Possibly because there are hardly any places to live. (Leader-Post)

2 U.S. HEALTH REFORM GETS MEDIOCRE Heres' a Guardian writer on the lame bill that passed a Senate committee, and here's a Salon scribe on why bipartisanship is pointless. I submit that any American voting for a federal Republican Party candidate these days is a fool or lunatic.

3 WHAT'S A LITTLE TORTURE, ANYWAY? New accusations our federal government is playing dirty tricks to smother embarrassing Afghanistan revalations--namely, that prisoners were transfered to despite the liklihood they'd be tortured. (Globe And Mail)

4 THERE IS TO BE NO FARMING IN JAIL! Last February, Corrections Canada canceled its prison farming program that I didn't even know existed but now that I know about it, I can see how it's a good idea. We want to retrain/reprogram convicts, right? And, if we find something productive that they connect with, we should encourage that, right? Well, this morning CBC reports that prisoners are defending the program they love (I'll add a link when CBC puts one up).

Here's a March, 2009 piece from Country Guide that lays out the situation. And here's a long, good story on this from Monday's Toronto Star. Grump grump grump.

Caveat--the as-far-as-I-know-not-evil John Howard Society apparently backs the closure of prison farms, so this topic might not be as black and white as I'd prefer. Drat.

5 TRANSGENDERED REGINANA CELEBRATES NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY. Good article, sharp, brave woman, cute pajamas. (Leader-Post)

6 GORILLA POO: WHO KNEW? And some good news: apparently, ape dung can save the planet from climate change. (Guardian)

Pick of the Day: The Alice Nocturne

I'll have more on the Globe Theatre's Sandbox Series in a Pick of the Day post next week. But The Alice Nocturne, which opens on the Globe's main stage tonight, has its roots in a Sandbox project from a few years ago that Joey Tremblay initiated called Fusion.

Suffering from writer's block, Tremblay assembled a group of young Regina theatre artists and, with Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland and Frederic Chopin's Preludes & Nocturnes as inspiration, he worked with them to improvise a story about a day-dreaming young woman and various adventures that she embarks on. In January 2008, a one-act version of the play, which is set in Edwardian times and is infused with a vaudevillian sensibility, was performed as part of that season's Sandbox Series.

Now developed into a full-length play, The Alice Nocturne runs at the Globe until Oct. 31. I don't provide this link for comparison purposes, as the parallels are bound to be slight, but here's the trailer for Disney's 1951 animated version of Alice in Wonderland. (YouTube)